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Q: Comparing Home Video Editing Software ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Comparing Home Video Editing Software
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: gwj-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 08 Aug 2002 00:14 PDT
Expires: 07 Sep 2002 00:14 PDT
Question ID: 52075
I want to compare video editing software packages that include a video
card for a PC.  I want compaison against a list of desirable qualities
concerning both video and audio. I want to spend up to $600 USD.

Request for Question Clarification by alienintelligence-ga on 08 Aug 2002 01:48 PDT
Greetings gwj

Some clarifications please. I'm
curious why it has to be a card
and software package? Are you not
interested in finding the best of
both items, instead of something
that might have been bundled to
just get rid of overstock?

For your $600, what will be more 
important... software features,
or video card features? Which would
you rather sacrifice?

Are there some minimum requirements?
Will that $600 include any applicable
shipping and taxes, or do we not bother
with that?

Will you be purchasing a computer
around what we suggest, or do you
already have a suitable workstation.
If so, specs please.

What type of slot for the video?
AGP? Accelerated? Will firewire
be a requirement? What will your
input and output devices be?

thank you for your question

Clarification of Question by gwj-ga on 08 Aug 2002 05:39 PDT
Let me answer your request for clarification.

I have a Sony Camcorder DCR-TRV 340 with Firewire connection. Used for
family holiday videos primarily.

I have an existing generic PC system running Windows XP with 60G set
up as two 30G drives. It has 256MB RAM on a Pentium 4 (1.6Ghz)

I have used an analog camcorder in the past and been very frustrated
by limited editing available using the camera and a VCR.  So now with
a digital camcorder I thought I would use a PC video edit "suite". 
iMAC looks very attractive but its a bit too expensive for now to just
runs the kid's holiday videos.

So I am starting from a very low base of understanding about video
cards and video editing software. I read about the slowness of
rendering(?), or real-time(?), etc

I am prepared to buy separately if that makes sense. $600 was just 
meant to be indicative. I would pay extra for shipping etc.

I want to record my video, connect to the PC, download through the
card, and edit. This will not be broadcast quality. But if I buy at
the low end(?) what I am giving up? What questions should I ask to
cmpare offerings.  Incidently I am in Australia so I am looking for a
PAL compatiple system.

When you ask (a) What type of slot for the video? 
AGP? Accelerated?  - you have lost me?
Will firewire be a requirement?  Yes
What will your input and output devices be?  Analog and DV. I would
like to copy to a VCR tape for those without a DVD but eventually I
will invest in a DVD burner.
Hope that helps.
Subject: Re: Comparing Home Video Editing Software
Answered By: vinods-ga on 08 Aug 2002 07:29 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

please look up 


this is a partial list of available video editing h/w and s/w. 

I will follow up with more details soon. 

warm regards


Clarification of Answer by vinods-ga on 08 Aug 2002 07:49 PDT
Most video capture cards (which is what you require to get the
unedited video from your native format - VHS, DV etc., into your
computer and back on to the tape for viewing) come with bundled
software. So what you need to do is to check out specifications of the
video cards to see if they match your requirements...

Here are some more extensive comparison charts...

Copyright 1995-2002 TEM Trading Corp

Copyright  2002 by Safe Harbor. All Rights Reserved. 

 1999 - 2002


Comparison of video cards priced under $500
Copyright 1995-2002 TEM Trading Corp

In my humble opinion, products from Pinnacle 
( ) and Matrox ( ) 
are very good tried-and-tested products. You also are 
looking for a low-cost setup which Pinnacle definitely offers. 

Adobe Premiere is also a well-used software for editing. Here is a
list of capture cards that are copatible with this software. (Most of
these capturte cards will come wiith software bundled.)

URL (for latest
version 6.0)
URL (for earlier
version 5.1)
Copyright 2002 Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Please let me know if you need anymore information. I will keep 
supplementing the information I have already presented to you. 

warm regards

Clarification of Answer by vinods-ga on 08 Aug 2002 08:04 PDT
please also look up the Matrox RT.X10


(and for features in a table format)  

Copyright  2002 by Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd

Matrox is a very good company and is into making very high end video
editing hardware. The RT.X10 is a lower-end version which is priced on
the site at $599. I am sure you will get a better price than this list

I have personally seen and worked Matrox video hardware a number of
times and have found the hardware pretty stable even with high-volume
and intense work.

warm regards

Clarification of Answer by vinods-ga on 16 Aug 2002 11:34 PDT

i hope you have got enough to start off with. if you have any more
queries or need anything further, please don't hesitate to ask me for
it. i will be glad to take it up...

warm regards

gwj-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Comparing Home Video Editing Software
From: vinods-ga on 08 Aug 2002 08:19 PDT

The Matrox RT.X10 has both Firewire and Analog input/outputs. This
means you can take in stuff from say, a VHS or SVHS source and also
directly transfer your edited material into a VHS cassette, instead of
dumping on to DV and then transferring to VHS. This saves a lot of
time. In my humble opinion, I see this package as the best for your

If you get to save some money on the card, you could invest in a
7200rpm hard drive. In any case it will be good for you to use a
separate hard drive for your data (audio and video) and keep the
software and Operating System in the other existing hard disk. This
will definitely improve overall performance of your system during the
editing process. Matrox recommends this, but you can also do without
it, of course at the cost of lesser performance...

One more thing... The Matrox card is a PCI card which means you still
use your AGP (Accelerated Graphics Processor) slot in your motherboard
for the existing video card. later you can add a dual-head display
card like the Matrox G450 display card. This way you can have two
monitors - one for the software and the other for the picture being

warm regards
Subject: Comparison articles, Sony cameras, "Effects"
From: ulu-ga on 08 Aug 2002 12:40 PDT
Here is a comparison between various software packages.,4149,2181,00.asp 

Most Sony video cameras will convert between analog video and DV (you
might need to record on tape first).  This would mean you don't need a
separate conversion card (just use firewire).  (I see vinods mentioned

Concerning "rendering" and "real-time", this relates to doing effects
with the DV.  Effects could be anything from complex 3D manipulation
to simple dissolves.  If you are only doing "cuts-only", where you are
just assembling clips together, the performance for effects is not
needed.  After a short time, you would probably want to add effects to
your videos.  Making DVDs require an extra compression step.  Most of
the time that is performed with software on home systems, but that is
changing rapidly.

I would agree with vinods that a good fast separate large drive would
be worthwhile (I like to shoot hours of video and load it all on).
Subject: Re: Comparing Home Video Editing Software
From: action-ga on 27 Nov 2002 13:01 PST
The only reason I'm commenting is because I've been down this road and
thought you might like my $.02 worth.  I'm not an expert, in fact I
just posted a question about DV/RT hardware.

I would recommend starting with Pinnacle Studio software only for now.
 I would also recommend one of the Western-Digital "special edition"
hard drives.  The special edition just means it has an 8mb buffer
instead of 2mb.  They make sizes from 80 to 200gb.  Raw DV capture is
huge and will consume a lot of disk space.  The 8mb buffer will help
avoid "dropping" frames -- both capturing and sending the video back
to tape.  Dropped frames when sending the video back to tape can be
completely unacceptable.  This is because it usually always affects
the audio and can make your best "home video" effort irritating to
watch.  (I'm speaking from experience.)

From what I read from vinods-ga, later  you may want to upgrade to the
RT.X10 which is where I am in my "journey."  This will allow you to
capture your analog video without having to record it onto your dv
camcorder first.  My hope is that this hardware will work (speed up
rendering) in Pinnacle Studio, too.  (No answer yet)  Pinnacle Studio
is very fast and easy to use -- and powerful.  It is probably all I
need and might be all you need, too.  Capturing everything in DV
format means it only has to render the transitions and titles.  I've
found Adobe Premiere extremely difficult to learn but very powerful. 
It is very expensive ($600, I think) and it is included with the
Matrox x10 so that's an added bonus of getting the x10.

Good luck.

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